Battery Energy Storage Systems and the Grid’s Next Leap Forward

Battery Energy Storage Systems and the Grid’s Next Leap Forward

by David Smith In an age of seemingly never-ending technology disruption – think iPhones, Uber, and driverless vehicles – “the grid”, that ubiquitous system of power lines, substations, switches, utility poles and transformers, has been conspicuously slow to evolve. Recently, however, some exciting changes in energy storage have entered the scene and are changing the… Read More


Managing Expectations: The Key to Successful Infrastructure Projects

By Daren Petroski, PE Design and construction of complex infrastructure can be challenging. Why are some projects perceived as successes, while others are seen as troubled? Clearly defined expectations, and the proactive management of those expectations along the way, usually leads to success. For example, addressing initial project challenges, such as the diverse interests of… Read More

Securing our Nation’s Aviation Infrastructure

Securing our Nation’s Aviation Infrastructure

by Kevin Shertz, PE Airports are undoubtedly a “critical infrastructure” in the United States. It is a delicate balancing act to maintain an airport’s security infrastructure, while remaining mindful of the impacts security measures can have on passenger satisfaction and the quest for rapid and seamless travel. An airport carries an intrinsic vulnerability, as it… Read More

Smarter Decisions with Facility Condition Assessments

Smarter Decisions with Facility Condition Assessments

by Joe Zagorski, PE Organizations with a large physical plant infrastructure need to plan significant capital investments to maintain a state of good repair.  Public transit agencies, colleges and universities, airports, and other large institutions rely on limited public and private resources.  They need to make choices on where to allocate precious capital dollars, and… Read More

Risk Assessment Burns Blog feature

On Time & Within Budget: Using Risk Assessments to Deliver Complex Infrastructure

by Daniel T. Reich, PE and Brian Ehrler, CPE, PMP, LEED® AP History tells us that complex infrastructure projects have many unknowns that create surprises, delays, disappointments, and the need for more time and money, usually after we’re already deeply committed in construction. Well-meaning communities sometimes take on complex projects only to be disappointed. However,… Read More

Building a Successful Employer Brand

Building a Successful Employer Brand

by Matt Burns, PE Attracting and retaining top talent is critical to the health of a professional service firm. At Burns, we recognize that a strong, cohesive, and authentic employer brand is essential in attracting and retaining the best of the best. A successful employer brand works comprehensively to attract top talent, keep employees engaged,… Read More

Project Delivery Innovations: Design/Build Traffic Control

by Steven B. Bolt, PE, PTOE Large highway infrastructure projects bring a unique set of challenges, especially during construction. The team is focused on keeping the project on budget and within schedule, while simultaneously ensuring the safety of the traveling public. In addition, large projects typically have large teams of consultants and contractors, which inevitably… Read More


Microgrids: An Energy Evolution of the World’s Biggest Machine

by Dave Smith The North American Electric Grid is getting smarter and becoming more resilient. The Grid is considered by many to be the biggest machine in the world, and among the greatest accomplishments of the 20th century. The electric grid came to life when Thomas Edison flipped the switch at his Pearl Street power… Read More

Positive Train Control

Positive Train Control: Why it’s Taking So Long to Get Rail Safety On-Track

by Matt Burns, PE If positive train control for rail safety is important, what’s taking so long? Positive train control (PTC) is an important life-safety technology that helps prevent human error in passenger and freight train operations. Understandably, there is frustration when loss of life could have been prevented if only safety systems were in… Read More

Digital Airports

Connected Customers + Digital Airports = Remarkable Experiences

by Matt Burns, PE Airports are the gateway most travelers pass through when visiting a major city. They create the initial, sometimes lasting impression of the overall journey. Because of this, airports understand how important it is that their destination be distinctive and memorable, as well as enjoyable and efficient. Customer satisfaction surveys are widely… Read More